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Blepharitis (Dry Eye) causing migraine?

I've had 2 migraines with aura, in 2014 and 2017. For the last couple years, I've been having what a neurologist tells me is chronic migraine activity, but I'm not convinced. These flare ups last for a month, plus almost 2 months to fully recover. There's no head pain, but right eye strain/pain feeling, visual symptoms (palinopsia), plus cognitive issues, bladder problems, severe fatigue, loss of coordination, muscle weakness and nerve pain on my right side. Most of the symptoms resolve over weeks/months as I recover, except the palinopsia/after images, stay, as well as the bladder problems (frequency and urgency), but also can't void completely)

I saw a neuro-ophthalmologist today who agreed with my current neuro that this is migraine based and says that it's caused by mild dry eye (blepharitis) irritating the trigeminal nerve. The severity of my symptoms seems way out of proportion to the mild dry eye. I'm been keeping track of *everything* to try and find triggers and I can find nothing (I believe stress to be the trigger both times I had the two big migraines with aura). Has anyone had dry eyes be a trigger?

  1. Have your doctors considered multiple sclerosis? I'm not having your same symptoms, but I'm now waiting to be evaluated by an MS specialist. (A different neurologist from my migraine specialist. ) Your symptoms sound suspicious to me. Your frustration sounds familiar!

    1. Thanks for responding, Maureen. I should've already mentioned it, since the symptoms mimic MS so much. Yes, I've already been worked up for MS. MRI negative, lumbar puncture negative, no sign of optic neuritis with the eye pain. Neuro-ophthalmologist thinks it's entirely related to the dry eye situation.

      1. You may not have the head pain however you maybe having other forms of them. My migraine story started as a teenager, I would get a slight headache but other things would pop up such as a stomachache would start in my stomach not the intestines. Since you have some of the other forms of symptoms your doctor is more than likely right that you have migraines.

        It wasn't until college that the 'head' symptoms - vision and vision. Taste/feeling/smell problems showed up later on. I would get them monthly in college into my 30's; late 30's into mid 50's migraines slowly increased to where we are today - 3-4 times a week with a few hours pre-migraine (if I am lucky) and a 1-2 day recovery. Yesterday was "pre", woke up with one today, and depending on the weather, the length and recovery will vary.

        As for the dry eye, I have it also. It makes my vision symptoms worse but not the cause.

        1. All those symptoms can be migraine withoit headache.

          You can find much information aboit migraine and the trigeminal nerve.

          Also, many users on the Migraine Buddy app report dry eye as a trigger.

          That said, stress is also a common trigger.

          If you have an instinct or a logical idea about the source of your symptoms, I'd encourage you to continue to advocate for yourself.

          You are the greatest source of knowledge about your condition.

          But hey, if treating the dry eye resolves the migraine and has minimal or no side effects, is it worth a try?

          Wishing you stress-free, migraine-free days!

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